Wisconsin Dells man charged in Michigan governor kidnapping plot released from jail

Brian HIggins
Photo by CNN.

PORTAGE, Wis. — The Wisconsin Dells man accused of helping in the plan to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer from her vacation home has been released from jail after posting bail Monday night, according to Columbia County Deputy Dylan Graff.

Brian Higgins, 51, appeared in Columbia County court Monday afternoon via Zoom.

Columbia County District Attorney Brenda Yaskal requested a $1 million cash bond, but Judge Todd Hepler set Higgins’ cash bail to $10,000. In addition to the bond, Higgins cannot leave Wisconsin, must surrender his passport and will not be able to have contact with the others who were charged in the kidnapping plot.

Higgins was arrested Thursday and has been charged on suspicion of material support in an act of terrorism. Officials allege Higgins was part of the group’s surveillance crew.

A statement from Attorney Christopher Van Wagner’s office said Higgins stands “alone and apart” from the others who were arrested in connection with the plot.

“Even the State’s notably sparse factual assertions against Higgins show that he (Higgins) was not part of any militia or anti-government movement, and was in Michigan but once, unlike the other accused men, whose activities were tracked for months by the FBI,” the statement said.

The state of Michigan has 30 days to get a governor warrant over to the state of Wisconsin for Higgins’ extradition. His next court appearance in Columbia County has been scheduled for Nov. 18 at 2 p.m.

If convicted in the state of Michigan, Higgins faces a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.